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Oct 12, 2007 12:01 EEST
(adds Moldovan central bank comments, background)
CHISINAU (Moldova), October 12 (SeeNews) – Moldova's inflation slowed to 1.6% month-on-month in September from 2.2% a month earlier, but is still high, the country’s central bank BNM said on Friday.
"Despite the slowdown in inflation in September compared to August, inflation pressure remains on quite a high level, creating risks for Moldova's macroeconomic stability," BNM said in a statement.
Year-on-year, consumer price inflation quickened to 14% in September from 13.5% in August. Cumulative inflation for the first nine months of 2007 was 9.0% versus 9.1% a year earlier.
Moldova's government has forecast a 10% end-year inflation for 2007. The country ended last year with a 14.1% inflation, lower than the government projected 14.7%.
"The main reasons for the accelerating inflation are higher food prices, caused by severe drought this year," the BNM said.
Food prices rose by 1.6% in September, slower than 2.2% rise in August. Non-food prices grew by 1.5% in September, up from 0.9% rise in August. Services were 1.6% more expensive than in August.
BNM added that another driver of inflation were the foreign currency inflows from Moldovan migrant workers abroad which led to an increase of monetary indicators and to considerable rise in lending by local banks.
Moldova's M1 money supply rose by 21.7% on the year in August, while M2 money grew by 35.1%. BNM has projected a 20% rise in the country's M2 in 2007.
Earlier this month BNM raised the key interest rate it uses in repo deals with commercial banks to 16% from 13.5% over concerns of accelerating inflation.
BNM has alsoo raised its minimum reserve requirements for commercial banks by 5.0 percentage points to 15%. "This measure will make it possible to cut money supply on the market by sterilising an additional 600 million lei, thus reducing inflation," BNM has said.
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